Review: American Tea Room Provence

American Tea Room, Lavender Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Mint Tea Add comments
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The website listing refers to Provence as “aromatherapy in a glass” and it's a good comparison. It has a clean, crisp fragrance akin to good potpourri, which this mix really sort of is. You could tuck little pillows of it into your dresser drawers with good effect. "
Lynn’s Teaview: 9.3/10
Other Teaviews: Troy gave it 8/10, Laura gave it 8.25/10, Geoff gave it 7.9/10, Shaiha gave it 7.5/10
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americanprovencentil recently, I did not consider lavender a food. Then a good friend who makes amazing chocolate truffles brought lavender flavored confections to our Christmas party and it was a revelation. Even so, I'd have been hard pressed to tell you exactly what lavender tastes like. The truffles were more lavender scented than flavored.

American Tea Room's lavender-based Provence tisane is certainly an olfactory experience, and a visual one, as well. To the eye it is mostly tiny dried lavender buds, with large green mint leaves and tiny, hair-like twigs mixed in. It is composed of lavender buds, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, peppermint, and spearmint. The website listing refers to Provence as “aromatherapy in a glass” and it's a good comparison. It has a clean, crisp fragrance akin to good potpourri, which this mix really sort of is. You could tuck little pillows of it into your dresser drawers with good effect. Initially, lavender and spearmint were the prevalent notes.

I infused a heaping teaspoon of the dried mixture in six ounces of 195F water for five minutes. While it steeped, I nibbled a lavender bud to find out, once and for all, what lavender tastes like. Eaten dry, it is bitter.

By the time it was done the whole kitchen smelled of lavender, lemon, and mint. If a smell can be "sunny" then this one was, and it was much appreciated, as it was a dark, cold, rainy day. I poured the tisane into a glass teacup and sniffed the contents of the teapot. They smelled powerfully of lavender and the mints.

Although the website describes the color as coppery, my cup was a bright yellow. The flavor was minty and citrusy, without any bitterness, but instead with a strong floral note that went straight up into my nose: lavender. I guess it is best infused, rather than eaten straight. The lemon verbena and lemongrass were definitely present, but more as a background taste. It is a very smooth tisane, with a minty lavender finish. To be quite honest, when I first read the list of ingredients and smelled it dry, I feared that it might be a bit soapy, but it wasn't; instead, it was smooth, slightly sweet, slightly astringent, and very well-balanced. With rain pounding on the roof, thunder rumbling, a fire on the hearth, Segovia playing softly in the background, and a warm dog snuggled up beside me on the couch, this was the perfect tisane for the moment.

A second infusion of five minutes gave up another yellow liquor, this one with a more lemony fragrance, although the flavor was primarily lavender with the slightest hint of the bitterness I'd tasted in the dry bud, and a fruity vegetal flavor that reminded me more of chamomile. The mints made themselves known mostly in a coolness on the tongue. Overall it lacked the balance and complexity of the first cup. To my taste, at least, this is a one-shot tisane, but a very good one. Highly recommended.

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Teaviews Member: Lynn Lynn
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